Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, KCB (2 April 1807 – 19 June 1886) was a British civil servant and colonial administrator. As a young man, he worked with the colonial government in Calcutta, India; in the late 1850s and 1860s he served there in senior-level appointments.
During the height of the famine it is suggested that Trevelyan deliberately dragged his feet in disbursing direct government food and monetary aid to the Irish due to his strident belief in laissez faire economics and the free hand of the market. In a letter to an Irish peer, The 1st Baron Monteagle of Brandon, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, he described the famine as an "effective mechanism for reducing surplus population" as well as "the judgement of God".
His detractors complain that Trevelyan never expressed remorse for his comments, even after the full dreadful scope (approximately 1 million lives) of the Irish famine became known, while his defenders claim that other factors than Trevelyan's personal performance and beliefs were more central to the problem...
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